I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. It seems to be unavoidable. It seems to pervade every part of our national consciousness. From the recent hurricanes, including Katrina, to the war in Iraq. Even closer to home, I’m constantly hearing of deaths within people’s families, from car accidents and stillbirths, to others being ravaged by disease. It seems that as I get older, death has become more and more a part of my daily existence, whether directly or indirectly. In films such as “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” and shows such as the recently ‘deceased’ “Six Feet Under”, death is and/or has become a very palpable reality, not to mention that it has always existed in much of our literary and artistic canons for centuries.
According to life span estimates, I’m about halfway to my date with destiny(I’m 41 now), though with the overwhelming evidence of the precariousness of life, and the all but undeniable fact that estimates don’t always add up, I could be even closer than I may be willing to realize or able to fathom. I feel pain in places that I didn’t feel them in not even 10 or even, 5 years ago, the cause of which could be any number of things, not least of which could be attributed to old age setting in, but unfortunately, without the assistance of health care insurance at the present time, I’m unable to learn of the causes and reasons of said pains.
But it’s the precariousness that, for lack of a better word, upsets me. Because there always feels like so much that needs to be done, things that I want to do but haven’t yet. I still want to write the “great American novel”, write that really good script that will be turned into an amazing film, travel to other countries, etc. I know that I’ve accomplished a lot in the “short” time that I have lived, that others have not or will never be able to for a variety of reasons, and hopefully by accomplishing those things, I’ve affected people’s lives for the better. But as is seemingly wont in human nature, there’s a hunger for more. And I hope that when that time does come, when God decides to sever my mortal cord, I will be ready and have been able to look back on a life well lived and fully accomplished, that they will be able to say of me a statement(a quote by James Baldwin) that I’ve adopted as my motto and creed and hopefully have lived up to—He was ‘an honest man and a good writer.’